Friday, May 19, 2006

Speaking of Allegorical Fecundity

My father, Douglas Akins, was a pioneering cartoonist "of color". In other words; a Negro who drew. I accidentally stumbled across some of his work on a site dedicated to early Black Cartoonists whose works were featured in newspapers with robust circulations. Surprisingly, George Herriman, the creator of Crazy Kat is "outed" as Brother who was "passing". It's rumored that he was told by Hearst to not be photographed with his hat off else the character of his hair (probably wavy) would betray his swarthy good looks and ancestry. Hey, I had brother to my Great, Great maternal Grandfather who COMPLETELY intergrated with White society in the 1920's after immigrating to the U.S.. At a recent family reunion, I met plenty of "blue-eyed" O'Meallys who didn't know they were of African descent.
I grew up in an artists' house, in the shadow of my Father, the Artist. Things became SO competitive by the time I was 19, I dropped out of college at the School of the Art Institute and joined the Air Force; just cause I needed to phuck something up. Several years later I landed my first real job as an illustrator in Advertising along Michigan Ave. I realize now that a lot of the tension between my Dad and I was there because, sadly, in the time he lived Black Folk couldn't do the things we do now professionally.
My father worked his entire career with the press at the lauded Chicago Defender. After his cartooning stint (although he would always contribute the occasional strip or editorial illo) he became the Defenders' Society Editor.
What's here, below, are images from something I had no idea existed. It's a wartime strip my dad created and drew (1942) featuring the Brown Bomber Joe Louis as an action hero. Ironically, fittingly, I came across these files while I was drawing the Bigby "War Stories" for "Fables" year before last.
Racism was so rife in those days, on all fronts, that I can't imagine what I would have done had I had to live in that shitty America. No lie, anyone, ANYONE who pines for the good old days is a fool, a fascist and probably eats children. These are the Great New Days. The Past Kisses Ass. My Aunt Henrietta, who's well into her 80's sets it straight,"The Good Old Days,...nothing good about them; bad refrigeration, bad medicine, unsafe cars and roads, racism, disease...nothing good on television."
Anyway, as far as Sgt. Joe goes, forgive the racist language if it's legible; but I'm pretty darn sure that that Imperial Japanese Officer had it coming (the clobbering, not the slur). Always be polite to the people whose asses you find yourself justifiably kicking (Hello, PETER).

Anywho, I'm just trying to get that Nixon image futher down the loaded page.

Here's some randomness.


Nixon In China

No, I'm not Gay. But if I were, I'm sure I'd be Fabulous at it. That resounding affirmation of my sexual security aside, Chicago Opera Theater (sort of the Bush League for the Civic) is putting on a production of one of my favorite works by John Adams, "Nixon In China". There's a few performances left; it's in English: it's Awesome. If you go to see this bad fella and your head doesn't explode from trying to hear and SEE all the stuff that is happening on stage, you will find other opera quite enjoyable.
John Adams' most recent work was the controversial "Klinghofer". Check the spelling on that. Anyway, I'm going. E, I'm sure, couldn't get dragged to within a Dutch Mile of this show.
(Don't bother looking that up. It just came to me.) But I'm sure if such a thing existed, the allegorical fecundity would sting the nostrils....
Wow, am I having a stroke?
This must some kind of goddamned "RED" jpg, because it's not loading right.

Holy GHz! 24/7/365 Apple Store!!!!

(title is a link, remember)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Dredge Report: Item One-Eleven

Writer Rafael Nieves and I are two bad-ass mofos; he's Puerto Rican and I'm Black...together we form an abbreviated part of a Mondo Honcho Hombre Brain-Trust-with-the-Pelvic-Thrust known as PaperMammoth. Currently, Raf is acting Managing Editor and Wrangler for a project that I can't mention until I clear something pressing from my desk. But Raf wrote the phuck out of it and I get to draw it; 'nuf sed. At any rate, we have come up with our share of stillborn schemes; here's one that is still close to my loins ("heart" would have sounded too fuzzy; but fuzzy nonetheless...). Of course I'm not going to tell you what it is. Or was; or could be.
Simply relax the sphincter and let whatever happens happen; I did and look what happened....


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lark Trump

So a while back, a few months, E was in Paris< France looking at Underpants with her sister, Laura. They both enjoyed the trip. I had asked E to bring back a little brass L'Arc pour moi. She couldn't find such a thing but, "I was able to get a shot of the Arc for you! I saw it from about a block away..."
So here's the photograph; more like a frame taken from the gun camera of some low-flying barnstormer, but a photograph of the L'Arc, nonetheless.
Mon Dieu!

If He Says "Storm" ONE More Time....

Normally on stormy days it blows being this exposed to wind, rain and sometimes hail. Don't start with me about the lightning. In fact, during multiple strikes, I scan the horizon with my Eagle Eye (Elizabeth calls me "Hawkeye") and sometimes will spot a fire started by a strike; there was a large fire just beyond United Stadium after todays' storm.
The UPSIDE to these storms are the great views brought on by the breaking storm. Todays' thunderstorm brought hail and lightning and I could have sworn I heard Howlin' Wolf moaning. But the storm broke to the southeast and let sun pour in from the west and north, revealing Old Town and Lincoln Park in fresh, Springtime relief free of drunken sports bar mooks and frathags (GASP!).
Yes; that's a RAINBOW just to the east of the Hancock Building. Here's a closer look...

It stayed there for a long while.
No art today, kids.
I just came from James Jeans' blog. Go there if you want something awesome to gawk know, that wasn't made by God.
That's right, "frathag". You won't find it in the dictionary because I haven't put it there yet. You read it here first; go spread the Gospel , my chillens.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Go here and scroll down to the KillBill video. Also chedck out his amazing views of the warehouse fire in NYC.
I LOVE the web.


LOL, looking at the last two blog entries, I had to add this link!
(yes, click on the title)
hilarity ensues

Chicago is getting a great new building!

That's right, click on the title.
Here is the link to the Chicago Reader article,

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I was channel surfing the other day...Is it possible to give your thumb whiplash? Well, I may have come close; skipping through the dregs that Encore was broadcasting, I managed to notice a film with a young Carla Gugina.
So I thought that I'd dedicate a blog entry to "the Girls"; the actresses that make me stop in my tracks and watch whatever load of crap they're featured in. A nod to the few who didn't get into this bunch for one reason or another; Denise Richards, for being too blond; Joan Chen: Halle Barry, still in the penalty box for "Cat Woman".